Bear damages in the Ukrainian Carpathians

Among the countries of the Carpathian Mountains range, Ukraine is the only one without a compensation system for brown bear damages. This has partly led to a limited knowledge on the extent of human-bear conflicts in the Ukrainian Carpathians. Thanks to the “Experience and Exchange” IBA Grant and the hospitality and help of our Ukrainian colleagues, preliminary data on bear damages in Ukraine have been collected during this summer. Interviews and questionnaires have been conducted among foresters, rangers, farmers and national park staff in the areas of Uzhanski and Skolivs’ki Beskydy National Nature Parks. The preliminary results show that since 2008 the damages caused by bears to livestock, beehives and agriculture per year have been rare. The low incidence of damages in the area may be related to the low bear density, the small livestock numbers and the location of agricultural activities close the human settlements. These preliminary investigations on the patterns of bear damages in Ukraine have established the beginning of the future cooperation between researchers in Ukraine and Poland regarding the conservation of this transboundary bear population.